Murphy's box office results began to recover in 1996, starting with The Nutty Professor. He followed with a series of very successful family-friendly movies like Mulan, Dr. Dolittle and its sequel, the Shrek series, Daddy Day Care, and The Haunted Mansion, along with Nutty Professor II: The Klumps. However, most of his movies meant for more adult audiences performed moderately; Metro, I Spy, and Showtime all ended to gross less than $40 million domestically, Holy Man performed poorly, grossing less than $13 million, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash is on record as one of the biggest theatrical money-losers of all time, grossing just $7 million worldwide on a reported $110 million budget. A notable exception to this run of poorly received adult-themed films was the Frank Oz comedy Bowfinger, also starring Steve Martin. The film garnered generally positive critical reviews, and grossed $98 million at the box office.
In 2006, he starred in the motion picture version of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls as soul singer James "Thunder" Early. Murphy won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor, as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award in that category. Several reviews for the film highlighted Murphy's performance while he received some pre-release Academy Awards buzz. Murphy was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor on January 23, 2007, but lost to Alan Arkin for his performance in Little Miss Sunshine. Dreamgirls was the first film distributed by Paramount Pictures to star Murphy (who once was on an exclusive contract with the studio) since Vampire in Brooklyn in 1995.
In 2007, Murphy was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. As a result of Viacom's acquisition of Dreamworks SKG, Paramount distributed his other 2007 releases: Norbit and Shrek the Third. He starred in the 2008 film Meet Dave and the 2009 film Imagine That for Paramount Pictures.
Murphy co-starred in Tower Heist, directed by Brett Ratner. Murphy played a thief who joins a group of hardworking men who find out they have fallen victim to a wealthy businessman's Ponzi scheme, and conspire to rob his high-rise residence. Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, and Casey Affleck also starred in the film, released on November 4, 2011.
It was reported in late 2011 that Murphy would host the 84th Academy Awards in 2012. However, he dropped out of his hosting duties on November 9th 2011, in wake of the Brett Ratner scandal.
Edit] Personal life
Eddie Murphy in Hollywood Walk of Fame
Murphy's oldest child was by Paulette McNeely: son Eric Murphy (born on 10 July 1989). He also has a child by Tamara Hood: son Christian Murphy (born on 29 November 1990).
Murphy began a longtime romantic relationship with Nicole Mitchell (born January 5, 1968) after meeting her in 1988 at an NAACP Image Awards show. They lived together for almost two years before getting married at the Grand Ballroom of The Plaza Hotel in New York City on March 18, 1993. Murphy and Mitchell had five children together: Bria L. Murphy (born November 18, 1989), Myles Mitchell (born November 7, 1992), Shayne Audra (born October 10, 1994), Zola Ivy (born December 24, 1999) and Bella Zahra (born January 29, 2002). In August 2005, Mitchell filed for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences". The divorce was finalized on April 17, 2006.
The Murphy family currently resides in Long Island, New York.
Following his divorce from Mitchell, in 2006, Murphy began dating former Spice Girl Melanie Brown, who became pregnant and stated that the child was Murphy's. When questioned about the pregnancy in December 2006 by RTL Boulevard, Murphy told Dutch reporter Matthijs Kleyn, "I don't know whose child that is until it comes out and has a blood test. You shouldn't jump to conclusions, sir". Brown gave birth to a baby girl, Angel Iris Murphy Brown, on Murphy's 46th birthday, April 3, 2007. On June 22, 2007, representatives for Brown announced in People that a DNA test had confirmed that Murphy was the father. Brown has stated in an interview that Murphy has not sought a relationship with Angel.
Murphy exchanged marriage vows with film producer Tracey Edmonds, former wife of Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, on January 1, 2008, in a private ceremony on an island off Bora Bora. On January 16, the couple released a statement saying, "After much consideration and discussion, we have jointly decided that we will forego having a legal ceremony as it is not necessary to define our relationship further," and called the Bora Bora wedding a "symbolic union". The two had planned on having a legal ceremony upon their return to the U.S. but did not, and their wedding was never official.